I Have Cataracts. Now What?

Photo by Craig Adderley on Pexels.com

Having been recently diagnosed with cataracts, I naturally have some questions. The diagnosis wasn’t a complete surprise. I am “of the age”. Plus I smoked for decades.

**If you smoke, this is another reason to stop asap**


In this article:

What are cataracts?
What causes them?
How to know if you have them.
What you can do about it.
What makes them worse.
What to do as prevention.

What are cataracts? According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, a cataract is when your eye’s natural lens becomes cloudy. Proteins in your lens break down and cause things to look blurry, hazy or less colorful. In other words, cataracts are the clouding of the lens of your eye, which is normally clear.

What causes cataracts? Most cataracts develop when aging or injury changes the tissue that makes up the eye’s lens. Proteins and fibers in the lens begin to break down, causing vision to become hazy or cloudy. Other factors can increase your risk of cataracts, such as genetics, diabetes, or high blood pressure.

How do you know if you have them? An eye doctor can give you a diagnosis. Regular eye exams are recommended, especially when you reach the age of 60. In most cases, that’s when cataracts start developing. However, changes in the lenses of your eyes can start to affect you in your 40s. Reading glasses anyone?

What can you do about them? At first, stronger lighting and eye glasses can help. If impaired vision begins interfering with your usual activities, you may need cataract surgery. Likewise, your eye doctor may recommend it. In the U.S., the average age for cataract surgery is 73.

What makes them worse? Dehydration, alcohol, smoking, and obesity speed up the development of cataracts. Uncontrolled blood sugar or high blood pressure are also contributing factors.

Prevention, please:

Get regular eye exams. They are helpful in early detection.
Quit smoking.
Manage other health problems.
Choose a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruit and veggies.
Wear sunglasses
Reduce alcohol use.

Now we know what cataracts are, what causes them, how to know if you have them. We also know what you can do if you have them, what causes them to get worse, and some preventative practices.

Hopefully, this answers some of your questions, just as it did for me.

Do you know someone with cataracts? Share this post with them. Sharing is caring.

Do you suspect you have cataracts? Tell us in the comments so we know we aren’t alone.

Being visually impaired or having low vision, doesn’t mean you can’t still journal, write, jot down notes, make lists, etc. As a journal creator with low vision, I have created a book designed just for us. It’s on Amazon. Here’s a link – https://www.amazon.com/Need-Vitamin-Sea-lined-notebook/dp/B09RNFY3GG/ref=sr_1_19?keywords=i+need+vitamin+sea+notebook&qid=1648062359&sr=8-19